A leading Danish gastronome has called for the country’s famous Havarti cheese to be protected under copyright laws.
The Copenhagen Post reports that Havarti could join the likes of Parmesan, Feta and Roquefort as being names protected cheeses if a proposal by the Gastronomical Academy is successful. Supermarkets across Scandinavia and Europe are filled with cheeses that have been afforded ‘Protected Geographical Indication’ or ‘Protected Designation of Origin’ classification by the European Union, although Denmark is lamenting its lack of appearance on such lists. The PGI and PDO labels used by the EU are for the protection of originality and naming of iconic products.
The reason for the lack of officially protected cheeses, according to the Gastronomical Academy’s vice-president Claus Tingstrom, is that Denmark’s agricultural industry has been slow to act. Danish authorities notably disputed the awarding of Feta as an exclusively Greek cheese some years ago arguing that a large amount of white Feta was manufactured in Denmark.
“Danish agriculture has for many years thrived by making copies of other countries’ agricultural products. It’s gone well for a long time, but consumers are now willing to pay more for the original products,” claimed Tingstrom.
The Greek experience taught the Danish industry valuable lessons and forced them to rethink their marketing tactics according to the Danish Agriculture and Food Council’s Winnie Pauli. She pointed out Danablue and Esrum as examples of cheeses that had achieved PGI status in the past.
“The label is a new way of thinking. You could say that Danish agriculture is in a new start-up phase,” said Pauli. “France is leading the way, as people there have really understood how to maintain their original products and earn money on them,” she added.
The EU now has received applications for Havarti along with Danbo and Funen smoked cheese.